5 Green Tech Stories You Should Be Reading: May 7, 2012

Today in the World Wide Web, people are reading about the advent of digital green startups, the controversy over solar net metering, and the eBay’s Green Driving section. Read all about it.

green tech startups, Growing Energy Labs

image via Growing Energy Labs

1. “EV Sales Earned $150 Million in Tax Credits Last Year” – Digital Trends – Beside all the money they saved on fuel, EV buyers also saved thanks to federal tax credits of up to $7,500. Plus, some states offer their own rebates on EVs. This year, Nissan and Chevy are both hoping to ramp up EV sales, and other car companies are testing their own EV prototypes in the hope that tax incentives will entice people to buy.

2. “Amidst Hard Times for Greentech, Digital Green Startups Energe” – GigaOm – While green tech startups are flagging, their digital counterparts are beginning to show signs of life, possibly because they not only have the “green” angle going for them, but feature innovative software that piques the interest of investors who might not necessarily seek out green-leaning startups. Some of the digital green startups include Growing Energy Labs, whose software can monitor and control batteries for power grids, and Smart Grid Billing, which can provide utility prices in real time.

3. “Green Button Energy Program Gathers Steam” – TriplePundit – The Obama administration’s Green Button initiative, which is designed to encourage utilities to provide standardize energy data, allowing consumers to make energy- and money-saving choices, is growing, and now has 21 participating utility companies, which provide power to some 30 million homes and businesses. Now, software developers are creating programs and apps designed to work with Green Button, and provide services like solar installation guidance, energy efficiency tips, and virtual energy audits.

4. “Solar’s Net Metering Under Attack” – Green Tech Media – It might be time to revamp net metering, where homeowners and businesses who generate a surplus of power can sell that power back to the utility. As more people generate more power, utilities end up owing their customers more money. This, in turn, can lead to higher rates for lower-income consumers, who are less likely to have solar installations. Check out this debate between the founder, director and president of the Prometheus Institute for Sustainability and the CEO of Solar Westinghouse on where the issue lies and what should be done.

5. “eBay Originates ‘Green Driving’ Auctions” – Environment News Service – EBay announced the addition of a new category on its bidding site, the Green Driving section, where users can buy and sell electric and hybrid vehicle components, as well as the vehicles themselves, ranging from electric golf carts and bikes to the high-end 2012 Fisker Karma EcoSport. To drum up business, eBay is offering the chance to win a Prius. EBay said the section idea stemmed from the belief that going green should be affordable to as many as possible. Of course, with the highest bid on the EcoSport being $95,600, you might have to settle for something less flashy but equally green.

Laura Caseley is a graduate of SUNY New Paltz and a resident of New York State’s Hudson Valley. She writes for several publications and when she’s not writing, she can usually be found painting in her makeshift studio or enjoying the scenery of her hometown.